First FF4EuroHPC digital All-hands meeting

9 February 2021

On February 4th, the FF4EuroHPC partners met at the first digital all-hands meeting to present and discuss the progress with respect to the project’s tasks, specific accomplishments that have been achieved so far as well as planning of the next steps to meet the project objectives. The project started at the beginning of September 2020 and has been very active in numerous areas.

The project coordinator, HLRS, presented the work undertaken to establish the effective and efficient management of the project, ensuring all deadlines are respected, resources used appropriately and all partners properly supported with information and materials. 

Scapos leads the open call management, promotion and proposer support activities. The first Open Call was open from November 2nd, 2020 to January 27th, 2021 with an aim to attract innovative, agile SMEs able on the one-hand to maximise the innovation potential of the individual experiments and on the other hand able to provide compelling success stories about using advanced HPC services and technologies to solve business challenges. The statistics show a high and broad level of interest in the first Open Call, based on the proposals received.  Namely, a set of 68 proposals was submitted, with coordinators from 19 countries, involving more than 150 organisations from 25 countries. Through the support of independent expert evaluators, the evaluation of proposals is ongoing and the selection of experiments will be made in the coming months. The chosen experiments are expected to start with their work in June 2021. The promotion of the second Open Call will start soon, as it is planned to open the call in June, with submission by the end of September this year.

The experiments in the first tranche will each be running for a maximum of 15 months. CINECA as a lead partner of the experiment oversight work package will ensure that the experiments proceed in line with their objectives and also the broader objectives of the project. In collaboration with CESGA, the two partners will support the experiments, report on progress to the project management and identify and respond to potential problems. The successful completion of the planned experiments will deliver the success stories that will be promoted widely to showcase the huge impacts and business benefits that HPC can have for SMEs.

TERATEC presented the work undertaken regarding the development of processes to support the future exploitation of results arising from the project activities, focusing on the SME business experiments. First contacts with different stakeholders, who could support the programme and the SMEs involved in the experiments, were made. Further collaboration with Digital Innovation Hubs, National Competence Centres, Independent Software Vendors and industrial associations will be carried out to support the innovation potential of the SMEs in the FF4EuroHPC experiments and the broader impact for European SMEs and industry. In addition a survey was designed and implemented in EUSurvey Platform in order to collect SMEs needs.

Arctur leads the communication and dissemination activities with the aim to create awareness among various stakeholders of the business benefits of advanced HPC, present the project activities and promote the open calls. The new visual identity was developed and appeared on all project materials. Furthermore, the new FF4EuroHPC website was designed and published, while the previous Fortissimo Marketplace website was redesigned to present the information on the past Fortissimo projects. Informative and also dynamic and attention grabbing communication is realised through the social media channels Twitter and LinkedIn. The main focus was put on promoting the first Open Call. Partners actively promoted the project and Open Call at 27 events, workshops or webinars.

All partners agreed that the work done so far has been successful and will be continued according to the project roadmap. The team cheerfully concluded the meeting with a hope to gather soon at a face to face meeting.

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